Compare Life Insurance :: News
SHARE

Share this news item!

Homeowner Faces Setback in Sinkhole Saga

Homeowner Faces Setback in Sinkhole Saga

A homeowner’s request for compensation after discovering a large pit on his property was denied when it was revealed to be a decommissioned well, rather than a sinkhole.

The deep pit, which measured 4.5 meters, appeared beneath pavers just 1.5 meters away from the house in August 2022.

The homeowner contacted QBE insurance to lodge a claim, prompting the insurer to send a team to cordon off the affected area for safety.

The homeowner argued that the pit had been formed by a leaking pipe and believed the visible water flow at the bottom was evidence of such. He suggested that the water leak had caused soil erosion, exacerbating the formation of the pit.

In response, QBE appointed a forensic structural engineer to investigate. The engineer, assisted by a plumber, conducted several tests and authored three reports on their findings.

The investigation concluded that the pit resulted from the collapse of a well capping that had been in place for over five decades, predating the home's construction according to the neighborhood residents' accounts.

According to the engineer, the old well capping had eroded over time, explaining the presence of water at the base. Nearby sewer and stormwater pipes were examined, and it was found that water flow into the pit had been consistent. A sewer pipe leakage, identified approximately 19 meters from the pit, was determined to be too far away to contribute to its formation.

No legal or physical connection was determined to link the sewer leakage or any nearby pipes to the well's deterioration. The plumber validated the engineer's conclusions, confirming a lack of nearby pipe networks capable of forming a sinkhole.

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) later ruled in favor of QBE, citing comprehensive evidence provided by the engineer. The findings firmly established that the pit was a disused well, lacking any evident links to a leaking sewer or other leaks.

AFCA endorsed, "The expert evidence substantiates that the pit originates from a long-decommissioned well existing before the complainant’s house was built. Despite extensive testing, the results indicate no connection between any pipe leaks and the pit’s formation, the water at its base, or the erosion observed."

Though QBE did agree to compensate for incidental damages done during the examination process, including $1122 for the damage to the homeowner’s timber deck and an additional $1500 for the delays in processing the claim, which took over six months.

This case, initially reported by insurancenews.com.au, underscores the critical role of thorough expert investigation to differentiate between naturally occurring subsidence and structural failures caused by other factors.

Published:Wednesday, 10th Jul 2024
Source: Paige Estritori

Share this news item:

Insurance News

Queensland Renters Face Significant Financial Risk Without Contents Insurance Queensland Renters Face Significant Financial Risk Without Contents Insurance
23 Jul 2024: Paige Estritori

Queensland renters are increasingly vulnerable to financial setbacks due to a lack of contents insurance, warns RACQ Insurance. An alarming 78% of renters in Queensland forgo this critical coverage, primarily underestimating the value of their belongings. Other reasons for this trend include the cost of insurance and a general lack of knowledge regarding coverage options. - read more
Massive Fines Hit Rogue Builders Over Fake Insurance Massive Fines Hit Rogue Builders Over Fake Insurance
20 Jul 2024: Paige Estritori

On July 19th, 2024, in a significant crackdown on fraudulent building practices, Aycon Constructions along with its director, Seyit Ayranci, received a record-setting fine of $250,000 from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). The enforcement action came after the construction firm was implicated in the use of falsified insurance certificates to secure building permits. - read more
Liberty Mutual Re insurance Unit Further Solidifies Aussie Market Reach Liberty Mutual Re insurance Unit Further Solidifies Aussie Market Reach
20 Jul 2024: Paige Estritori

Liberty Mutual Insurance Group's LM Re insurance unit is making impactful strides with the inception of a dedicated Australian branch. At the helm of this initiative is Mark De La Mare from Aon, who will guide the underwriting team nestled in Sydney. - read more
HCF Broadens Insurance Offering in New Allianz Deal HCF Broadens Insurance Offering in New Allianz Deal
18 Jul 2024: Paige Estritori

HCF, the non-profit health fund, is now offering home and motor insurance products, thanks to an expanded partnership with Allianz. - read more


Life Insurance Articles

Trauma Cover: Calculating Adequate Protection for Life's Unexpected Moments Trauma Cover: Calculating Adequate Protection for Life's Unexpected Moments
The financial fabric of our lives consists of both planning and safeguarding against the unforeseen. Trauma cover, a lesser-known but crucial aspect of personal insurance, provides this protection by offering a lump sum payment upon diagnosis of specific serious illnesses or injuries. In the tapestry of financial planning, it acts as a vital safety net, ensuring that unexpected health crises do not lead to monetary distress. - read more
The importance of Income Protection Insurance for Employees The importance of Income Protection Insurance for Employees
While some people might think that income protection insurance is only for self-employed individuals, this is not accurate. This type of insurance is just as beneficial for employees, because accidents and illnesses can happen to anyone at any time. Workers' compensation provides only limited coverage, and most employees don't have much more than a few weeks' sick leave accrued. Of course, if you have more than one job, the situation becomes more of a concern if you are injured at one workplace resulting in being unable to work at either. - read more
Navigating Pre-existing Conditions in Income Protection Insurance Navigating Pre-existing Conditions in Income Protection Insurance
Income protection insurance is a safety net that many Australians rely on to secure their financial future in the event of illness or injury preventing them from working. It's a type of policy that provides a replacement income if you are unable to earn your regular income due to a health-related absence from the workplace. - read more
From Illness to Injury: Understanding the Scope of Income Protection Insurance From Illness to Injury: Understanding the Scope of Income Protection Insurance
In the uncertain times we face today, where both health and economic climates are unpredictable, safeguarding your financial stability becomes paramount. This is where income protection insurance steps in as an essential safety net. For many Australian families, it's the buffer that ensures life's financial commitments are met, even when ability to work is compromised. - read more


Start Here !
life insurance
Apply now for your free Insurance assessment and price comparisons!

Life Cover Amount:
Your Postcode:
All quotes are provided free and without obligation. We respect your privacy.

Knowledgebase
Insurance broker:
An agent acting on behalf of the insured (not the insurance company) who negotiates the terms and cover provided by the insurer in the insurance policy.